Not for myself--my husband has pretty good insurance through his job--but for a former student of mine.
Background: my former student recently moved to the US in an attempt to make a better life for her son who's 7 and has autism. She was my student 19 years ago when I taught high school English in the Philippines. She's in her mid-30s, lives alone here though she's married and has 2 kids back home.
She has a degree in physical therapy and is attempting to become licensed to practice here and is currently working for a staffing agency providing therapists and aides to nursing/rehab/hospice centers in NYC. She hasn't passed the exam yet, but does have a legal status and has a social security number.
She asked at work about getting health insurance but the agency head said maybe she'd get some within 6 months of passing her licensing exam.
I urged her to get herself covered somehow and advised her to find a navigator who could speak Filipino (her English isn't very strong) so that she could fully understand her options. Apparently there are no navigators in the NYC area who can speak Filipino, so she tried working with the navigator she found and was told she'd pay roughly $260 a month for a plan (no idea what level) and that she doesn't qualify for subsidies.
That sounds like a decent sum to me--but for someone like her who is trying to start a new life here, earning just $20/hour with no guaranteed hours, trying to save money for the future and for remitting some to her family back home. She also has limited access to the internet and a not-so-reliable laptop for figuring things out on her own.
So, trying to crowdsource here--can anyone point to a navigator they know who can patiently walk her through all the options and explain all the choices?